Sammy Hagar talks up â€œRock & Roll Road Trip,â€ dresses down the music business
January 20, 2016
â€œKeep on Rockinâ€™â€ was for the movie â€œThe Rose,â€ and somebody reached out and said, â€œDo you have any songs for Bette Midler?â€ And I thought that song was cool for that. But it was a different version than the one that I put on my first record. I wrote different lyrics, but when John Carter produced that record, he co-wrote the lyrics with me and he changed them. So when I sent her the song, I grabbed the demo I hadâ€¦and I sent her the wrong one! [Laughs.] But she loved it, so she recorded it.
And then after that, she asked if I had any more songs, and I think her next album was â€œBroken Blossom,â€ so I said, â€œHey, you being a redhead, how â€˜bout â€˜Redâ€™?â€ I played it for her, she went nuts, and the producer of that album (Brooks Arthur), when I went into the studio, he was not down with it. He was, like, â€œGet this rock â€˜nâ€™ roll guy out of here! Heâ€™s ruining this record for me!â€ [Laughs.] But Bette, she was the coolest. She and I are cut from the same cloth, man. Sheâ€™s like a female Sammy Hagar, and Iâ€™m a male Bette Midler. Our stage antics, our raps on stage, the sh** we yak about on stage, our neurotic, jacked-up, nervous stage energyâ€¦ I think we have a lot in common. I havenâ€™t seen her in a long time, but when I see those old clips of Bette, she was quite the performer. Sheâ€™s a very special lady.
[Writerâ€™s note: The timeline shows that â€œBroken Blossomâ€ came out in â€™77 and â€œThe Roseâ€ hit theaters in â€™79, but when I mentioned as much, Hagar still seemed to think he had the order right. Maybe he did: given the way things work in Hollywood, itâ€™s not impossible that Midler couldâ€™ve asked for the song for â€œThe Roseâ€ in â€™77 and just had it take that long for the movie to come to fruition. Then again, maybe heâ€™s just misremembering.]